Balance stability and mobility through the Ashtanga system

Mobility and stability are essential aspects of being healthy; these two translate in more agility. A mobile body is going to facilitate the flow of energy and information through our nervous system. Live in a mobile body is like living in a house with plenty of space for you to move. Stability will prevent hypermobility in the joints; this will avoid overstretching in the tendons and ligaments, preventing injuries

In Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga we aimed to bring stability and mobility into a balanced state when any of these two is overemphasize, imbalance in the body will happen, followed by tension, resulting in injure

Stability can also be understood as strength and mobility as flexibility. In a sequence like primary series, you will have the opportunity to strengthen the legs, increase mobility on the hips, and improve mobility and stability of the shoulders. When your legs are strong, hips and shoulders stable and mobile something interesting is going to happen on your body; your spine will feel more free and stable as well, a mobile spine will increase the overall freedom within the body, and it will increase the flow of energy and information through the nervous system

A healthy or free spine is critical for a healthy body, this can prevent and improve many physical problems that we hear today more often as a result of a sedentary lifestyle like sciatica pain, herniated disc, headache, fatigue, numbness in the limbs and many others

How is this possible?

Improve the mobility of the spine, is a byproduct of balance muscles in the front and back body, flexible hips, strong legs, and mobile shoulders, these will increase the movement between vertebrates due to a reduction of the pressure between these two bones, this translate as space, space that will facilitate flow of information through the nervous system and blood through the veins and vessels that run along the spine

Imagine the possibility to live in a body that is fully interconnected that can recover, and have the ability to communicate with you in a precise way as you live your life and move through the practice.

Fully connect with your body is something that everybody can achieve with practice 

Be Patient with Yourself and Enjoy the Journey

Supta Kurmasana According to Body Proportions


Supta Kurmasana is one of the core postures in Ashtanga primary series. This pose requires: deep internal rotation in the shoulders, flexion of the spine, external rotation on the hips and flexibility in the adductor muscles

Internal rotation of shoulders

In the sequence, some poses will prepare you for the shoulder rotation that you need, asanas like Prasarita Padottanasana C, Parsvottanasana and Marichyasana A- D

If you can put the legs behind the head or cross the feet in front of the head, but you cannot reach your hands behind the back, staying in the poses mentioned above for 8- 10 breathes it is going to help you to lose the shoulders and create the need it flexibility for Supta Kurmasana.

External rotation on hips

In case that you can bind the hands but can’t cross the feet, this will be due to a lack of ability in externally rotating the hips. All the Marichyasanas will help you to work in this mobility

You can also hold Kurmasana for 8- 10 breathes keeping the legs close the side of the body and lift the heals up, this will work as well in the external rotation of the hips

Flexibility in the adductor muscles

In the standing sequence, all the Prasarita Padottanasana are excellent preparation. Bring your torso thru the legs and hold all this variation for at least eight breathes

Flexion of the spine

To achieve deep flexion of the spine, it is necessary that you can round your spine. Poses like Janu A-C will work in the mobility of the spine, instead of work with the back straight, try to bring the shin or the forehead to the knee, as you keep the hips grounded

If you have all these qualities but still can’t get into the poses, it is time to have a closer look in the proportions of the body.

Short arm and legs and long spine

This combination will make this asana extremely difficult as you will need a deep external rotation in the hips, deep internal rotation in the shoulder joint and even so, perhaps you will still need to use a strap or towel to facilitate the bind

Possess that can help you to deepen the internal rotation is Parsvotanasa and Marichyasanas. Move reverse prayer hands in Parsvottanasana and the bind in Marichyasana higher in the back

To work in the external rotation, according to the proportions mentioned above, some new poses have to be added out of practice.

Pigeon Pose

With the right shin bone parallel to the top of the mat and the foot in line with your heart center, rest your upper body down.

To go deeper in this pose walk your hands to the left away from the sole of the feet

Approach to this asana as a Yin Yoga pose, surrender and let the gravity facilitate the stretch

At the beginning can be right that you use props to assist you as you hold this asana

Stay in the pose for 2- 3 minutes

Wider Baddhakonasa

Put your legs in a diamond shape, bring your upper body down. Your face should be behind your feet and your knees as close as possible to the ground. Stay for 2- 3 minutes

Second variations walk your upper to one side stay 2- 3 minutes followed by the other side


It is also important to recognize, that if you have had a regular practice and after trying many alternatives exercises Supta Kurmasana didn’t improve, take a modification instead.

Use a modification that can bring you as close as possible to the full version of the pose that is not creating any pain in the ligaments and joints and move forward in the sequence.

Pattabhi Jois used to say that not all the poses are for everybody.

Practice with awareness and let your body gradually open, always feel your body and breathe as you move thru the sequence.